Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"None of us surf": An Interview with Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood is a five-man band from West Palm Beach Florida that will be playing at Terrace F. Club on Thursday, April 15. Intersections had the chance to speak to frontman JP Pitts about the band’s sound, the band’s formation, and why closed circuit television sucks.

Q: How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard your songs?

A: It sounds like a Wes Anderson [director of Royal Tenenbaums] movie soundtrack. It also kind of sounds on some songs like Andrew W.K. meets Robert Smith [of the Cure].

Q: Any strong influences?

A: I really like the Clash and David Bowie.

Q: What did you all do before becoming musicians full-time? How did it all get started?

A: Well, we were all kind of hanging out in Palm Beach County after high school. I guess I was going to school, TJ was working at UPS, Tom was going to school, Brian was a delivery man, Marcus was working in some factory, and we were all playing in bands. One day we all met each other at a party in Miami and realized we all wanted the same thing and liked the same music and it made sense for us to get together.

Q: How’d you get the name Surfer Blood? Your Myspace says “None of us surf.”

A: Surfer Blood was TJ’s thing – he came up with it as a joke on a long car ride. We thought it was cool and wanted to use it as a song title or something. I think it goes really nicely with the music; it’s a good representation of us. It’s classic, but in-your-face at the same time.

Q: What other bands have you been listening to lately that you can recommend?

A: A few bands are Best Coast from Los Angeles, the Morning Benders, Turbo Fruits – who we’re touring with – and the Intelligence.

Q: What’s one of the craziest things that’s happened to the band?

A: One night we were getting really wild in our practice space and we ended up setting a couch on fire and watching it burn all the way down. We thought we were so cool, so we just left it there in the middle of the road. Then a bit later the woman in charge of our rent for the space essentially uninvited us for the next month. She said, “We saw a video of you guys doing very inappropriate things…you are not welcome back.”

Basically we just have really bad luck with closed circuit television. Everyone’s always watching what we do. It’s happened multiple times.

Q: What are the best and worst parts of being a musician?

A: The best part is probably making songs and recording ones you’re proud of. It’s also cool seeing people excited at a show, singing your songs. The worst part about touring is probably the boredom, the loneliness, living in filth, and feeling disconnected from things going on at home.

Q: What is your show at Terrace going to be like on the 15th?

I was just reading "This Side of Paradise" actually. I’m really excited. Sometimes we get rowdy. We’re a lot louder live than people expect.

Interview conducted, condensed and edited by Sara Wallace ’12.


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